Spanish firms wooed to take part in $800bn KSA projects

Crown Prince Salman holds talks with King Juan Carlos of Spain in Jeddah on Sunday. (SPA)

Crown Prince Salman holds talks with King Juan Carlos of Spain in Jeddah on Sunday. (SPA)

Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, held talks here Sunday with King Juan Carlos of Spain on major regional and international issues and ways of strengthening bilateral relations.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin, Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif, State Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other high-ranking officials. Prince Salman hosted a luncheon in honor of Juan Carlos and his accompanying delegation.

King Juan Carlos later met with officials of the Spanish company responsible for the 400-km Haramain Railway.

Juan Carlos also held talks with Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil, president of the Council of Saudi Chambers and Abdullah Al-Rasheed, president of the Saudi-Spanish Business Council, in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.

Al-Zamil invited the Spanish companies to participate in vital projects worth $800 billion offered by Saudi Arabia in various sectors. “King Juan Carlos has shown interest in small and medium enterprises,” the CSC president said. “We have also informed him about the delay in getting business visas which takes up to 15 days.”

Addressing businessmen and businesswomen at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Juan Carlos emphasized Saudi economic stability. “Saudi Arabia plays an important role in the Middle East and the Arab Islamic world. It has become a key player in G20 and other international forums,” he added.

Juan Carlos said he was gratified to see Spanish companies playing an active role in the Kingdom’s infrastructure projects including railways, public transport, petrochemicals, fertilizer plants and desalination stations.

Al-Rasheed said the trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Spain rose to SR40 billion in 2013. “The number of Spanish companies operating in the Kingdom has increased during the last three years and they focus mainly on energy, mining, infrastructure and transport projects,” he added.

The Spanish king also met with OIC Secretary General Iyad Madani and discussed prospects of expanding cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields. Madani briefed the king on his organization’s activities.

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